Thursday February 22, 2018 10:38 am



store-amazon-moby-200Even though Moby-Dick has been absent from the operatic stage throughout 2013, excitement about this whale of an opera remains unabated. Spring saw the publication of Robert K. Wallace’s handsome book chronicling the magical transformation by the incomparable creative partnership of Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, of Herman Melville’s 19th century epic American novel into a Grand Opera for the 21st century. It was also in the spring that Heggie’s Ahab Symphony, a natural offshoot of the opera received its World Premiere at the University of North Texas in Denton, with tenor Richard Croft and the UNT Orchestra and Chorus led by conductor David Itkin.

On October 29, Moby-Dick reached new audiences with the release on DVD and Blu-ray of San Francisco Opera’s world premiere recording, in partnership with EuroArts Music International and Naxos of America. The DVD/Blu-ray recordings feature special bonus material including interviews with cast members, program notes, plot synopses and production photographs. Moby-Dick is one of six operas to be released by San Francisco Opera in its new collaboration with EuroArts.

Moby-Dick caps the year with the nationwide telecast on Friday, November 1, of San Francisco Opera’s October 2012 presentation of Heggie and Scheer’s blockbuster opera as part of the PBS Great Performances Series. The live-to-tape broadcast is produced by San Francisco Opera’s resident production team in collaboration with WNET using San Francisco Opera’s in-house high-definition media facilities. Recorded in October 2012, the universally praised opera features tenor Jay Hunter Morris in the role of Captain Ahab, Stephen Costello as Greenhorn, Morgan Smith as Starbuck, Jonathan Lemalu as Queequeg and Talise Trevigne as Pip. Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The San Francisco Opera presentation reunited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer with the original creative team of director Leonard Foglia, set designer Robert Brill, costume designer Jane Greenwood, video projection designer Elaine J. McCarthy and choreographer Keturah Stickann. Moby-Dick was co-commissioned by San Francisco Opera in partnership with the Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Calgary Opera and the State Opera of South Australia, and premiered at the Dallas Opera’s Winspear Opera House in April 2010.

To celebrate the premiere DVD release of Moby-Dick, composer Jake Heggie and conductor Patrick Summers will sign copies of Moby-Dick in the War Memorial Opera House main lobby on Sunday, November 3 following the matinee performance of Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman).

Moby-Dick was named “Best Opera” at Australia’s prestigious Helpmann Awards for the performing arts, and all of the North American productions received great critical acclaim. The San Francisco Chronicle called Moby-Dick “a masterpiece of clarity and intensity, with a score that is at once thematically compact and richly inventive,” while the San Jose Mercury News pronounced it “awesome in a 21st-century Broadway kind of way.”
Home audiences are in for a TREAT! What better way to get acquainted at the same time with both an American classic and the most powerful and expressive of art forms, opera.

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Watch a video of "Jake Heggie on Moby-Dick"; excerpted from FanFaire Foundation's "Writing Opera Today - A Music Appreciation Event" 
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